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Keeping Yourself In The GameMonday, February 16th, 2015

by Mandy Green, Head Women’s Soccer Coach at The University of South Dakota

We all know that recruiting is a 365 day-a-year-beast.  You could easily spend 40+ hours a week just watching practices, making recruiting phone calls, sending texts, emailing, on-campus visits, watching video, having staff meetings, etc.  On top of your recruiting responsibilities, you also have to manage, train, and develop your current team.  Some of you also have to teach classes or have additional administrative responsibilities.  It’s a lot.

The demand for our time as a coach is increasingly exceeding our capacity — draining us of the energy we need to bring our skill and talent fully to life. The rise of digital technology is perhaps the biggest influence, exposing us to an unprecedented flood of information and requests that we feel compelled to read and respond to at all hours of the day and night.

Just like our athletes, with overtraining and overworking we wear down, burnout, and become ineffective. The reality is that we will become flat liners mentally and emotionally when we relentlessly spend energy without sufficient recovery.  Unless we incorporate more rest and recovery into our work regimen, we will slowly wear down and become ineffective as coaches and as recruiters.

Sadly, the need for recovery is often viewed as a sign of weakness rather than an integral aspect of growth and sustained performance in our society. As coaches, our entrenched, puritanical conditioning of being valued on how hard we work, our fear of being left behind or replaced, and our addiction to always being busy are actually not only destroying our mental and physical health but also destroying our creative productivity.

To avoid burning out and to prolong your life as a coach, you need to add more rest and recovery into your workday.  To consistently produce high quality work and get the results you need daily, all throughout the week, and throughout the year, I highly suggest you find a way to implement taking time off into your productivity strategy.

Here are 3 things I did to incorporate “rejuvenation time” into my schedule.


Since I was struggling to take time off, I first had to get over my belief that: working = good and not working = slacker.  I just made a conscious effort to think positively of this time that I was taking off and kept telling myself that this was “rejuvenation time”. I kept telling myself that this time away from coaching and recruiting was going to refresh my mind and body which in turn was going to make me a better coach and recruiter.

Office Renewal: Take mini-breaks

Small, frequent breaks are a great way to refresh and recharge.  It’s been proven in many studies that workers who take short 10-15 minute breaks every 90 minutes report a 30 percent higher level of focus than those who take no breaks or just one during the day. They also report a nearly 50 percent greater capacity to think creatively and a 46 percent higher level of health and well-being. The more hours people work beyond 40 — and the more continuously they work — the worse they feel, and the less engaged they become.

Sitting at your computer for long periods will lead to sleepiness and sluggishness, so get up periodically, stretch, take deep breaths, and move around. I recommend setting a timer that goes off every 60-90 minutes.  Every time the timer rings, stand up before you turn it off. And once you are standing, get moving. Get up to go to the bathroom, go refill your water bottle, take a quick lap around the building, plan to run an errand or 2 during this time, get up to stretch your leg and back, or walk around and talk to your coaching colleagues for a moments…just do something that refreshes you for just a few minutes.  You will be amazed at how much more energy and focus you have just by taking a few short mini-breaks throughout the day.

By taking 5-10 minute short breaks every 60-90 minutes throughout the day, I have noticed that I am not getting as tired at the end of the day as I used to and I still have energy when I get home.  I am working less hours but getting more done and it is much higher quality than I have ever done before.

At Home Renewal: Plan 2 hours of free time EVERY NIGHT!
When you get home from the office, schedule 2 hours where your phone is in another room, you put work away, and you take yourself off of the coaching and recruiting grid to recharge.

I suggest planning something fun that will engage your heart and mind so you are not bored and tempted to get sucked back into your working addiction. Plan fun things to do with your family or friends. Workout. Go for a walk outside.  Read a book. Watch a movie. Go play golf. Or whatever it is that you deem your recovery time.

When I started scheduling 2 hours every night that I couldn’t work, I found myself working more urgently during the day to get things finished up. I also quickly found that by resting my mind and body daily, that when it was time to get back to work, I was more energized and focused so was able to produce higher quality work.

I think that a big key to not burning out as a coach is to not let burnout sneak up on you.  Schedule regular short breaks during the day and get off the grid for 2 hours every night will help to make sure that won’t happen.

I have been pretty religious about doing these things for more than a year now.  I had to do it because I was exhausted.  Honestly, with the massive amount of work I had to take on taking over the program I did with only 2 part-time assistants, and having 2 kids within my first two years, I was pretty overwhelmed.  Adding more time for energy and mental renewal has kept me coaching.  I have more ideas for other things that you can do for mental and physical renewal on my website at www.mandygreencps.com.

Can I have 60 Seconds of your time?  Please click here to take the College Coach Productivity Survey.  To thank you for helping me out, I will email you my 11 Time Management Mistakes That College Coaches Make Free Report!  I really appreciate your help.

Mandy Green is the creator of Coaching Productivity Strategies and is the author of The Green Time Management Workbook and Planner for College Coaches, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your day with research of proven time and energy management methods that you can apply in your career, to recruiting, and to your personal life. For more advice on how to manage and organize your day and recruiting, please visit www.mandygreencps.com.

Create The Ideal Work EnvironmentSaturday, May 31st, 2014

by Mandy Green, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, The University of South Dakota

You know the phrase “being in the zone”?  It is mostly used for athletes to describe the optimal state of consciousness where they feel and preform at their best.  From the research I have done, I found getting into “the zone” isn’t just for athletes and is arguably the most perfect state to work from.

Have you had the experience where one minute you’ve finished lunch, started to work on a project and the next minute it’s 7 pm and you have no idea where the time went? It is the mental state where we are so focused and engaged with what we are doing, we produce our greatest results and peak performance happens.

Unfortunately, most coaches have a hard time getting there because they are so distracted by the emails coming in, social media, and all of the interruptions they get.

I know I can’t just show up and expect it to happen.  It certainly isn’t going to happen if I am jumping from one task to the next every 3 minutes because I am so easily distracted.   Ultimately, there is a way to get a lot of work done in a shorter amount of time, but to do it, I need to be intentional and strategic about creating an environment where I can create total focus, void of distractions.

I’m going to recommend some ways you can get in the work zone to get more quality work done faster and stay there for as long as possible.  As I am going through this, think about your ideal work set up, and if there is maybe something you can change.

When Is My Energy Best?

Emails to my top recruits get done first and are worked on in the morning during a time when I have found my energy and focus are really good. I also get interrupted the least.

Get Up And Move

Before I sit down to write, I get up and move around a little just to get the blood flowing.  I go to the bathroom or run some errands or whatever.  I find that not only does this give me a little jolt of energy, I also have a lot of creative thoughts pop in my head while I am up moving and away from my desk.

Get Everything I Need First

I try and make sure I have all the info I need in one folder. I make sure I have water and my hot chocolate/coffee drink.

Listen To Music

Before I get started, I turn on some music. I have found that for me I get more creative and get into an email flow better when I have music playing in the background versus when it is quiet.


I get my best work done either in my office early in the morning or at home after I have dropped the kids off at daycare.

Eliminate Distractions

I schedule a set hour or hour and a half almost every day to do nothing but recruiting emails.  I shut my door so I don’t get interrupted.  I turn off my auto indicator on Outlook so I am not distracted by new emails coming in. I don’t stop to do other tasks that I remember to do (I write them down on my Master to To-Do list so I get it out of my head but don’t forget to do it), and I turn down the volume on my phone so I don’t hear when a new text message or phone call may come in.  Recruiting emails, that’s it.

I try to eliminate as many distractions as I can so I can concentrate all my attention on exactly one thing and one thing only. To reach the state of flow at work you need to be totally focused at your task and not distracted every 3 minutes.

Getting to the point where I am even doing all of this has taken me a few years’ worth of trial and error.  The set-up doesn’t take me long anymore because I have been gotten into the habit now.  Each step individually helped save some time here and there.  When I do all of these things at once, it is like recruiting email nirvana.   I love it.  I spend a lot less time on my email but I can get so many more emails out.  I am more in control of the recruiting process.  I am not as overwhelmed anymore.  Of course, I still have bad days with it.  But adding more structure to the set-up process of doing recruiting emails has saved a lot of time for me.

Mandy Green has a Coaching Productivity Newsletter that goes out every other Sunday.  This newsletter is for coaches who have an email overload issue.  She shares methods or techniques that she is trying in an effort to process, manage, and keep track of recruiting emails better.  If you are interested in joining in on the conversation or if you have something to share please go to www.mandygreencps.com.  Opt in and she will send you her newsletter every week it goes out and you can get a FREE copy of the chapter in her Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook called Organize Your Recruiting.  

If Nothing Else, This Has To Get Done!Thursday, May 15th, 2014

by Mandy Green, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, The University of South Dakota

What is it for you coach?  What is it that no matter what else gets done, as long as these one or two things are finished by the time you leave the office, you are feeling pretty good about your day?

I thought I knew what it was for me.

Being that I read, write, and talk to people about time management regularly, I certainly have a general idea which few activities for me were the ones I knew needed to get done.

Then, about a week ago, I went home feeling uneasy and stressed.  I started to reflect on what happened during the day and what maybe didn’t get done that was causing me to feel this way.

That day I had to readjust my schedule of To-Dos because a few student-athlete meetings lasted longer than planned.  When I got home, I took out my Green Time Management Planner and looked back over my day.  I had finished the majority of things on my To-Do list, but there were still one or two things pushed aside.  Reflecting back on my day helped give me some insight as to what was causing me to be stressed, but I needed to look more into it.

The next day was just as crazy as the day before, but I went home feeling okay with what I accomplished during the day.  Did I get everything done on my To-Do list, no, but I did get a few of the things done that I hadn’t gotten done the day before.  I again sat down and looked at what was finished and what was pushed aside during the day.

I ended up experimenting for a few days, monitoring what I had completed and what I left for the next day to do, while really paying attention to how I felt when I got home that night.

What I found is, for me, I feel good leaving the office as long as I have sent my recruiting emails out and had a chance to plan and prepare practice for the following day.

The development and future success of my program is obviously dependent on my ability to consistently communicate with recruits.  The success of my current team depends on preparing and executing challenging practices so we can keep getting better.  When I make sure to get these two things finished before I leave for the day, I feel assured knowing I still have time to review my practice plan the night before and make adjustments if necessary.  As a result, I walk into practice feeling more prepared.   I also love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I know I have taken another step forward with the recruits we are trying to get.

When these two things don’t get done at work however, I have to do them at home.  These things have to get done.  What causes me the most stress is not only does this take away time with my kids, but I feel they don’t get done as well as I would like them to be.  I feel like my recruiting emails are not as clear and concise and my practice plans aren’t as well thought out as they could and should be since I have a 4 and 1 year old also competing for my attention.

To avoid feeling stressed out, it took three or four days of analyzing what I did and didn’t do, as well as assessing the feelings that followed for it to really hit home with me which tasks absolutely had to be done before I left the office.

I now try to do my most important activities first thing in the morning, when I get done with practice (we practice from 6-8 am).  I found if I put them off until later, I get busy and run out of time to do them.

So coach, what are your most important activities?  What are the one or two tasks that you know if you get done, even if you don’t get everything done, you can leave the office and feel good about what you’ve accomplished for day?

If you are not sure, do what I did.  At the end of the day, review your To-Do list and see what got done and what didn’t get done.  How are you feeling when you get home?  Once you have your data, analyze what could be causing you to feel this way.  Then try to restructure your day to make sure you are getting your most important tasks done.

I would love to hear what they are?  Please email me at mandy@mandygreencps.com and put “My MIT’s” (Most Important Tasks) in the subject line.

Mandy Green has a Coaching Productivity Newsletter that goes out every other Sunday.  This newsletter is for coaches who have an email overload issue.  She shares methods or techniques that she is trying in an effort to process, manage, and keep track of recruiting emails better.  If you are interested in joining in on the conversation or if you have something to share please go to www.mandygreencps.com.  Opt in and she will send you her newsletter every week it goes out and you can get a FREE copy of the chapter in her Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook called Organize Your Recruiting.  

Email Overload!Sunday, April 6th, 2014

by Mandy Green, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, The University of South Dakota

Over the last few months, I have been reading everything I can about how to manage my email better.  I have also started to interview some of my college coaching friends out there trying to find what they are doing to process, manage, and keep track of all of the emails we as coaches have to deal with everyday.

I NEEDED to do this.

About two years ago I had over 10,000 emails in my inbox.  Obnoxious, I know.  The worst part about it was that I knew I was missing out on recruits, I wasn’t responding quick enough or at all, I was forgetting who I had sent what to, etc.  My email inbox owned me.

I got to the point where I was just overwhelmed by it all.  I knew that I had to figure out how to use email efficiently because it is an essential part to our job.

1st Step To Email Efficiency: List Making

I started my quest to use email better by making a list of all of the steps in the recruiting process that involve email in some way.  I am a list maker and need to have everything out of my head and on paper in front of me so I can analyze and identify where problems may be.

Here is the quick and very general list I created.

  1. New emails that come in from prospects who are interested
  2. Enter in all new recruits into our database
  3. Get the first email out
  4. Have a system for processing and storing all emails that are returned from prospects.
  5. Creating consistent conversations with recruits
  6. Keeping track of who has been sent what amongst our staff

Where are the Problems?

After making this list, I really took a look at the system I had in place to see which part of email the process pertaining to recruiting that I was struggling with..

*At the time, I had no full-time assistants and I knew that I couldn’t waste time entering names into a database.  I hired a student worker who came in a few times a week and could get every name entered within a day or two.  Huge time savor!

*Once the names are in, I have a few great first letters that have I gotten great results with.   Dan Tudor has really helped us open the door to getting the recruits we want with all of his advice on how to write effective recruiting letters.  But he has also created a problem for me in that now I have too many recruiting emails to deal with.

*Step 4-6 is where I get overwhelmed.


To solve the problems I was having, I first started by reading whatever I can get my hands on as it pertains to using email more efficiently.  One issue with what is out there is that it is all written for the business world so nothing is recruiting specific.

Recently I have started interviewing my coaching friends to see what they have been doing.

I have been trying and tweaking different methods and techniques.  This is still very much a work in progress because for me, I still haven’t found a complete system that I absolutely love.

What I am going to start doing on a new Coaching Productivity Newsletter that will start going out at least once a month, is to use it as a way to talk through the problem.  I will share methods or techniques that I am trying or anything new that I just learned in an effort to solve this email overload issue I am having.  If you are interested in joining in on the conversation or if you have something to share please go to www.mandygreencps.com.  Opt in and I will send you my newsletter every week it goes out.   I promise, I won’t fill your inbox with more crap.

Also, if you wouldn’t mind, I would love to interview you!   I am not interested in who you are recruiting or what you are sending to them.  I want to know how you process and manage your email.  Please email me at mandy@mandygreencps.com if you’re up for it.

FREE Organize Your Recruiting Ebook. For a limited time, receive a free chapter out of my Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook when you visit Coaching Productivity Strategies at www.mandygreencps.com.

Stop! Don’t Do It!Friday, March 28th, 2014

by Mandy Green, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, University of South Dakota 

We all have a tremendous amount to do these days.  Between recruiting, managing and training the team, office stuff, meetings, camps, etc, our to-do lists are getting longer and more out of control.

If you are one of the many coaches out there who is overwhelmed trying to get everything done,I want to help you regain control over your workload by helping you make better choices.  Since we only have so much time to get things done, you need to CHOOSE what gets done and what doesn’t get done. You must consciously choose what you will work on based on how it will affect your program and the results you want to produce and delay or eliminate other less important items from your schedule. You can’t find more time, but you can always change the way you use the time you already have.

Many productivity and time-management experts say the most helpful list you may ever create is one outlining what not to do. “Do-not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance in the office.

The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

The idea is to list all the activities you are intentionally going to stop doing for the sake of greater productivity.  This is a list of activities that are time-wasters, your list of people not to talk to because they’re time vampires, your do-not-eat list, your not-to-have-in the office list, etc.

In his best-seller Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, Jim Collins lauds the value of a “stop-doing” list: “Those who built the good-to-great companies… made as much use of stop-doing lists as to-do lists. They displayed a remarkable discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk.”

I believe that there are 2 ways to figure out what should go on your do-not-do-list.

  1. The first step in deciding what not to do in your life is zeroing in on what you ultimately want to achieve.“If you really get clear about your real goals, visions and values, it will be easier to cut the extraneous things off your lists that aren’t that purposeful for you,” says David Allen, author of Getting Things Done.
  2. The second way to figure out what not-to-do is to time track.  Write down on the left hand side of a piece of paper the day’s times in 15-minute increments. As your day goes along, write down what you’re doing at that time all day long so you can identify things that you may be wasting too much time on in the office. By taking a realistic look at how you spend your time, you can determine which activities don’t yield valuable results in return for the time and effort they require. Then, you can cut those time-wasters out of your life.

Let’s take you through some examples. I wanted to share this list with you because I thought that they were very applicable to what we do as coaches.  Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Work Week, had these items pertaining to email on his Do-Not-Do-List.

Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night
The former scrambles your priorities and plans for the day, and the latter just gives you insomnia. E-mail can wait until 10am, after you’ve completed at least one of your critical to-do items…

Do not check e-mail constantly — “batch” and check at set times only
Get off the cocaine pellet dispenser and focus on execution of your top to-do’s instead of responding to manufactured emergencies. Set up a strategic auto responder and check twice or thrice daily.

Do not carry a cellphone or Crackberry 24/7
Take at least one day off of digital leashes per week. Turn them off or, better still, leave them in the garage or in the car. I do this on at least Saturday, and I recommend you leave the phone at home if you go out for dinner. So what if you return a phone call an hour later or the next morning? As one reader put it to a miffed co-worker who worked 24/7 and expected the same: “I’m not the president of the US. No one should need me at 8 pm at night. OK, you didn’t get a hold of me. But what bad happened?”The answer?Nothing.

Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should
Work is not all of life. Your co-workers shouldn’t be your only friends. Schedule life and defend it just as you would an important business meeting. Never tell yourself “I’ll just get it done this weekend.”  Force yourself to cram work within tight hours so your per-hour productivity doesn’t fall through the floor. Focus, get the critical few done, and get out. E-mailing all weekend is no way to spend the little time you have on this planet.

Seeing through on your do-not-do list ultimately may take sheer force of will. Like everything, you will get better with practice.  Jim Collins writes, “The real question is… do you have the discipline to do the right thing and, equally important, to stop doing the wrong things?”

When you get stuck on your not-to-do list, you waste time and end the day frustrated because you didn’t get anything done. Make your list and post it where you can always see it to remind yourself of what you should not be doing.  Enlist the support of co-workers to help keep you on track.  If you find yourself doing something on your do-not-do list, get up, walk around, refocus, and then get back after your important to-do list items.  Good luck!

I’d love to hear what makes your list!  Please email me your list at mandy@mandygreencps.com

FREE Organize Your Recruiting Ebook.  For a limited time, receive a free chapter out of my Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook when you visit Coaching Productivity Strategies at www.mandygreencps.com

How to Stay Focused and Be 50% More Productive ImmediatelyMonday, December 24th, 2012

by Mandy Green

Head Soccer Coach, University of South Dakota and Time Management Expert

Coach you probably can relate to this scene I’m about to paint:

Have you ever started an email which should take you five minutes to write, then your assistant comes in and talks for five minutes.  Then your email notification ringer goes off so you quickly check your email wasting another 5-10 minutes.  Then just as you are getting back to the email you were writing, your phone rings.  Before you know it, an hour has gone by and your quick email that was going to take you five minutes is still not written.

Every coach likes to think they’re great at multi-tasking, and some of them actually are. But there’s a limit to how many things you can do at once without taking away from the quality of your work, plus it almost always greatly increases the time it takes to finish each project.

Experts estimate that the tendency to start and stop a task, to pick it up, put it down and come back to it can increase the time necessary to complete the task by as much as 500%. That means that a task that should take 10 minutes to complete now takes almost an hour.

Each time you leave one task and go to another, you have to mentally shift gears: You have to familiarize yourself with where you were when you stopped that task and what you still have to do. You then have to develop momentum and get into a productive work rhythm… but before you do that, you’ll probably be tempted to switch to yet another task, starting the process over again.

That’s why it is very important to absorb yourself with one thing at a time. Give that task your full focus and attention and complete it before moving on to the next thing. By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more. Do your most important task first. Do it until it’s completed. Then, and only then, move on to the next most important task.

One thing I have found extremely helpful in staying focused is to have a notebook nearby so I can write down any thoughts of other tasks that I remember that I need to do that may come into my head.  So if I am writing an email and I remember that I need to call a coach, I write it down instead of immediately making the call.  Writing it down allows me to get the thought out of my head and then I can immediately get back to staying focused on finishing my email, which results in the email getting done a lot quicker.  When the email is finished, I will make the call.

This technique is especially useful if I am searching for something on the internet.  I would start searching for an article or looking into getting a flight and I found I used to always get distracted and start clicking other links.   Before I knew it, I had wasted an hour going from website to website and was no-where close to finding what I got on the internet to begin with.  So now, instead of clicking on every link that interests me I write the link down and I stay focused on accomplishing what I was working on.  I try to do all of my web’s surfing at the end of the day when all of my other important priorities have been finished and only allow myself 30 minutes to do it.

Staying focused on one task at a time will be hard at first. But over time, just like with any other skill, it will become easier, and you’ll get things done quicker and quicker. Give the tasks you work on the attention they deserve and you will find that the quality of your work will go up, and the time spent doing each task will go down, therefore increasing your productivity and efficiency in the office.

If you are interested in more time saving ideas or techniques, check out the Green Time Management System for College Coaches at www.mandygreencps.com. Or send an email to mandy@mandygreencps.com.  Let’s make 2013 the most productive year ever!


Two Critical Time Management Mistakes Coaches MakeMonday, May 28th, 2012

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Creating Checklists to Save Time in Your Coaching OfficeMonday, April 2nd, 2012

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Scheduling Your High Priority Activities as a College CoachMonday, February 13th, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

How long do you and your staff spend each day on unimportant things?  Things that don’t really contribute to the success of your program.

Do you know how much time you’ve spent reading junk mail, talking to colleagues, getting interrupted by somebody walking into your office, or getting phone calls everyday? And how often have you thought, “I could achieve so much more if I just had another half hour each day.”

In working closely with the team at Tudor Collegiate Strategies, I know we continually hear from coaches who struggle with their day.  They lament how often time seems to get away from them.  Even when they plan their upcoming calendar as a coaching staff, it seems to never quite unfold the way coaches hope.

First thing I want you to do: Identify the high-payoff activities within your program.

High-payoff activities are the things you do that bring the greatest value to your program, team, or staff.  They are the three to five activities that lie in your “sweet spot.”  You do them with excellence.  These activities could be building relationships with recruits, making phone calls to parents, sending emails to recruits, managing your current team, etc.  They are your unique discipline or distinctive skills and abilities that distinguish you from other staff members.

Knowing what your high-payoff activities are and actually doing them, however, are two very different things.  Many surveys that I have read over the past several years have shown that the average American worker spends only 50-60 percent of the workday on activities specified in her or her job description.  That means that workers waste 40-50 percent of their time on low-payoff activities, tackling things that others with less skill or training should be doing.

Are you in this category coach?

The more time you spend doing the high-payoff activities, the more value you will bring to your team, program, and staff.  By disciplining yourself to clearly identify your high-payoff activities, and then by filling your calendar with those things and appropriately delegating, delaying, or dropping the low-payoff activities, you can and will get more high-payoff activities done everyday, reduce your stress, and increase your happiness.

Homework-Time tracking in an Activity Log

Activity logs help you to analyze how you actually spend your time, and when you perform at your best. The first time you use an activity log the results may shock you! I know that I was shocked the first time I did one.

Do this activity for a week. Write down everything you do, from the time you start working until the time you go home. Without modifying your behavior any further than you have to, note down the things you do as you do them.  I created a sample template below.  You will need to cut and paste and make the template the size you need it to be depending on the amount of things you do everyday.

Every time you change activities, whether opening mail, working, making coffee, gossiping with colleagues or whatever, note down the time of the change.
As well as recording activities, note how you feel, whether alert, flat, tired, energetic, etc. Do this periodically throughout the day.

At the end of every time-tracked day, tally the total hours you spent in high- vs low-payoff activities.  Although this may seem like a hassle, it’s vitally important for you to become very clear on how you actually spend your time over the course of the week.  You may be alarmed to see the amount of time you spend doing low value jobs!

Activity logs are useful tools for auditing the way that you use your time. They can also help you to track changes in your energy, alertness and effectiveness throughout the day.

By analyzing your activity log you will be able to identify and eliminate time-wasting or low-value jobs. You will also know the times of day at which you are most effective, so that you can carry out your most important tasks during these times.

Soon you’ll gain a clear picture of how you’re actually spending your time and whether you have room to fill your calendar with the activities that will truly add the most value to you and your program.

Mandy Green, a frequent contributor to College Recruiting Weekly, is a Division I head soccer coach and the author of an upcoming time-management guide for college coaches, as well as a corresponding calendar organizer.  In addition, she will be a featured speaker at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference this Summer.

Achieving Your Coaching and Recruiting Goals in the New YearMonday, January 23rd, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

The idea is a good one:

Set personal goals for the New Year, and then carry them out.  That’s a great idea for coaches, as well.

The problem I find is that coaches are so busy, going in so many directions, and pressed by “more important” matters that they don’t get around to serious goal setting.  But it’s important, and it can result in better performance for you as a college coach and recruiter.

Go back and take a look at the New Year’s Resolutions that you set just a few weeks ago for 2012.  Are you still working on them?  Or have you already gone back to your old ways of doing things and decided that you will try again next year?

Hopefully you are still working on accomplishing your goals for this year.  If not, I hate to say it but you are not the only coach out there who failed to keepyour resolutions.

A big reason so many New Year’s Resolutions fail within the first week is that the focus is on the “what” instead of the “why” and the “how.”

The first question to ask yourself when making New Year’s Resolutions is “why” am I making these goals in the first place?  The second question to ask yourself is “how” am I going to make this resolution a reality?

For example, if your resolution is to “mange my time better in the office so I can spend more time with my family,” maybe you should look to the root cause of the problem:

• I get into the office late
• I spend too much time emailing
• I get distracted easily
• I spend too much time gossiping with fellow coaches
• I’m not organized
• I have too many things to get done
• I get interrupted a lot during the day

Once you have identified the “why” for each resolution, create specific personal resolves for behavior change from there.
Here are a few specific resolves:

• I will get into the office 1 hour before the rest of the staff arrives
• I will only check my email twice a day
• I will create a personal, team, and recruiting plan
• I will make to-do lists to make sure the important things are getting done

Here’s a helpful exercise if you’re serious about achieving your goals for 2012:

1. For each goal you created for this upcoming season or year, make a list of the “why’s.”  What is the real reason you want to achieve this goal?

2. Come up with specific behavioral changes you are willing to make in order to make each resolution a reality.

3.  Commit an hour a day to spend on working on your goal and get to work.

When it comes to the goals you are trying to accomplish this year, I recommend keeping it simple.  Make sure your goals are attainable.  And, most of all, write them down.  Goals that are written down and placed where you can see them on a regular basis will get achieved.

Goal setting is the easy part. Committing to spending time each day working on your goals is tough for coaches because there are so many things to get done.

Goals are important for your personal and professional development.  Take them seriously as we head into the new year.

Mandy Green is the author of a soon to be released organizational book and calendar specifically designed for college recruiters.  She will also be speaking at the National Collegiate Recruiting Conference this Summer.  Click here for more information on being a part of this informative weekend of cutting-edge recruiting techniques!

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